Thursday, 22 December 2011

Afterburn (EPOC) and Tabata

I’ve recently learnt about Tabata and how this can help me optimise the time I spend on exercising. Reducing it down to less than 5 minutes a day! So of course I had to give it a go.

I started this on 19th December 2011 so it’s still early days. Let’s see if this can replace the longer runs I would normally do with Sprocket.

I decided to do this with my trusty exercise bike (seriously this has been probably the item which has been the best value in terms of exercise equipment – I bought it around 1995 for over $200 from Rebel Sport and I’m still using it regularly!). So I exercise in quick intervals of 20 seconds going as fast as I can and then 10 seconds of slower cycling. To make it easier I downloaded an Android App (Interval Timer AD) to help me identify the end of the 20 or 10-second ‘stints’. I wonder why the 20 seconds seems so long and the 10 seconds so short Winking smile.

I do this for 8 cycles and after I can feel it. I can feel the ‘Afterburn’ and my heart rate is accelerated. Actually I should grab my heart rate monitor and see how my heart is going (although I never really understand where I need to be etc and have to look it up every time).

The Afterburn (or Excess Post-exercise Oxygen consumption – EPOC - is the technical term) lasts for quite a while! Apparently this will help my calorie burning which is why I only have to do the 3 minutes and 50 seconds of exercise (the last cycle doesn’t need the 10 seconds of ‘rest’). I still walk or run with Sprocket in the morning before I do this Tabata so between the two I should lose some fat from this Smile

After the 3 mins 50 seconds I am a total sweat ball! And have been sitting on the couch doing some eye exercises for 5 or so minutes. I use the interval timer for that that too but any timer will do. Another benefit of the Interval Timer AD app is that it logs the exercises for me and I can save the timer ‘settings’ and load them up.

If you are thinking of doing Tabata or interval training I would definitely recommend using an app as you really don’t want to try and think or count whilst going all out. On the bike I’ve found that I reduced from “level 4” intensity to “level 3” and now have set the bike to “level 2”. It’s hard! But the good thing is that it only goes for less than 4 minutes! I’ve yet to do it more than once a day and this morning I skipped it as my calf muscles were feeling tight.

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